Left: Courtesy of INFORM Studio and SITU Fabrication, Right: Courtesy of INFORM Studio and Photographer Steven Kroodsma

5 Artificial Intelligence Tools for Architects and Interior Designers

From ChatGPT to Finch3D, ThinkLab rounds up some of the top AI tools for design.

It seems that just about everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI). According to the Future Today Institute, AI is a trend affecting all industries, ranging from agriculture and consumer products to real estate and construction. So what does AI mean for the architecture and interior design industry?

ThinkLab sat down with Eric Klooster, director of architecture at INFORM Studio, and Abby Shehan, senior design director at Premier, for a candid conversation about AI. They discussed how machine learning tools can expand design capabilities, which tools have the greatest impact, and what’s on the horizon for our industry.

The reality? There’s an increasingly wide spectrum of tools available. Many of the tools assist with design conception and provide time and cost savings, while others speed up construction without drafting a drawing set. You read that right.

Wherever you or your firm land on the love–fear AI spectrum, there are tools that are worth exploring. We’ve rounded up Klooster and Shehan’s recommendations and added a few of our own below:

01 UpCodes Copilot

UpCodes Copilot is your Al-powered code assistant. It helps accelerate your code research with built-in responses tailored to your project-specific questions. “Utilizing these types of code analysis tools allows us to design faster, and ensures we are protecting the safety and wellness of occupants. It’s faster and avoids risk,” says Klooster.

02 Midjourney

Midjourney is a generative AI program that produces images based on text prompts. Designers can use the platform to produce iterative design solutions that align with requirements and considerations such as material choices and site specification.

03 ChatGPT

Your team is probably already exploring ChatGPT’s capabilities. In our industry, common uses include site research, design briefs, marketing, and social captions. This tool, like most AI tools, is continuing to evolve, and the free version 3.5 provides an easy introduction to AI. “It speeds up our research process and allows us to dig deep into the history of the site we are designing for,” says Shehan.

04 Higharc

This comprehensive tool allows customization of built-in parameters, such as ADA code requirements, to fit your project needs. The standout feature? Higharc generates a permit-ready construction drawing set within minutes, without the need for drafting, and even includes built-in cost calculators. While its primary focus is currently the residential sector, the potential implications of this tool for other vertical markets are vast.

05 Finch 3D

Your prototyping assistant. Finch utilizes advanced algorithms to optimize your design—giving you ten times the iteration speed. With built-in error prevention, Finch ensures compliance with your set constraints, providing real-time feedback to guide design decisions. As a bonus, Finch seamlessly integrates into existing design and drafting tools like Revit, Rhino, and Grasshopper.


According to Klooster, “the more the merrier.” The broader the spectrum of industry players—manufacturers, architects, designers, developers, corporate real estate professionals—who utilize these tools, the richer our understanding becomes. This collective usage allows for refining and enhancing the traditional project process. A shared aspiration for Klooster and Shehan is to harness these tools to educate municipalities, streamlining the design approval process.


JLL and CBRE are prime examples, to name just a couple.


We’re paying attention to the Van Leesten Bridge Project by INFORM Studio, where architecture, AI, and fabrication meet.

While we at ThinkLab are passionate about exploring AI tools, this article was proudly written by a human. Jessica Jenkins is a member of the research and content development team for ThinkLab, the research division of SANDOW DESIGN GROUP. Join in to explore what’s next at thinklab.design/join-in.

Would you like to comment on this article? Send your thoughts to: [email protected]

  • No tags selected